Comics auctioneers Phil Comics is offering an original, unrestored, FN+ example of the first Beano comic – cover dated 30th July 1938 – in the same week that the comic turns 80, with a starting bid price of £25,000.
This original copy includes pages excised from reprints in recent years, removed for their now stereotyped portrayal of “Peanut”, the comic’s original masthead character, today regarded as inappropriate.
Unless you’ve been living under a stone, you’ll know the Beano comic turns the ripe young age of 80 next week, the first official print celebration being a “birthday” issue guest edited by author and comedian David Walliams, followed by the anniversary celebration the following week.
“We are delighted to offer what is quite possibly the best example of the first issue known to exist,” says Phil Shrimpton.
“The comic is fresh to the market having not been offered on open sale before. Bright, fresh cover colours, light page tanning, a strong spine and just slight wear (to include slight hairline tear) makes this a very attractive item indeed.”
The 28 pages are largely crisp and one has several very small tears to the right hand edge. Two other pages have a very few tiny closed tears. The right hand cover edge has a 1/3 and a ½ inch tear. Being completely original with no restoration, we grade it as FN+ but some might nudge it to FN/VFN.
A total of 442,963 copies of the first Beano comic were sold back in 1938 and, to date, around 30 of them have known to have survived, held in private collections. Only one example of the free gift Whoopee Mask is known, sold in 1999 by the Comic Book Postal Auctions (Compal) for £6,820. Since then, the value of these early examples of British comics has skyrocketed.
“The price of £25,000 reflects it being the most iconic and valuable British comic,” says Phil. “It’s in superb condition and offered in its 80th birthday week, two years after a VG example fetched £17,330 at auction.”
Due to the high value of this comic Phil Comics can only accept bids from buyers with a UK Mainland delivery address. (Prospective bidders elsewhere are welcome to contact us to discuss possible collection options).
“You’ll no doubt read many articles in the press in the coming week about this landmark occasion for the famous comic,” says Phil, “and we hope that this auction can contribute to the celebration of a true British icon and national treasure on its 80th birthday.”
The Beano © DC Thomson/ Beano Studios